Lifelong Adventures

So originally, I was so excited to have two years to plan my perfect wedding day- and most of the time I still am. I am engaged to the man of my dreams and I get to go to school everyday at a university that I love; however, those things are just happen to be opposing forces. My heart is often in two different places, which makes life difficult sometimes! I realized that lately I have taken to complaining about our situation instead of actually doing something about it. I am wishing away my time! Not cool, Rachel. Not cool. I am working to be satisfied with where we are now AND to make the most of the time we have together.

Well this upcoming week is Spring Break which means 9 full days fun with my b-dog! We are about to head off on one of our many adventures and this time it is to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. If you know anything about skiing then you think this is really cool. If you are like me, you are thinking to yourself, “why the heck would you spend your spring break in Wyoming?!” I get it. It’s kinda weird. But I also think it is going to be really cool. And I am going to be pretty dependent of Bryan, which will be a good test of our relationship. You see, I haven’t skied since I was about ten… And that has pretty much been on purpose. My last memories of skiing involve a lot of hatred and darkness. I’m hoping that turns around on this trip.

skiing

I’m pretty sure this picture is from my last attempt at skiing. My gangster bro is on the left, mom in the middle, and that’s me sitting in the snow. We loved the 90s. All joking aside, I am very excited to head up to Jackson Hole! Life with Bryan means trying new things (or in this case, trying things I don’t want to try again) and constant adventure, even in our day to day life. I will update y’all when we get back because I am sure we will have some great stories and hopefully some good pictures too.

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Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. 432 days until I’m a Mrs.!

Growing a Healthy Relationship

Whew! These past couple of weeks have been crazy. That is why I was so excited to spend Valentine’s weekend in Dtown with B. Can I just say that I am so blessed to be marrying a man who didn’t cringe when I suggested spending the weekend at a marriage counseling seminar?! Oh goodness, he is a keeper! And that is exactly what we did this past weekend. My MOH attends SMU and forwarded me an e-mail from the office of the chaplain about this seminar a few weeks ago. I forwarded it on to Bryan saying something along the lines of “hint, hint!” He replied back that he went ahead and signed us up! I will say that we were hoping that it would be a little bit more challenging- we didn’t learn a whole lot of new information (that’s a good sign, right?!), but we did get a chance to have conversations that don’t really happen on a day to day basis.

The first thing we learned was the importance of affirmations. Not just shallow affirmations, really try to notice specific things that you can point out! The leaders suggested 5 affirmations for every 1 negative message. At first that sounded like a “duh” statement, but start to pay attention to this ratio in every relationship in your life. You might not be as great at this as you think!

We also listed 3 things that we think are going well and 3 things we want to work on in our relationship. Luckily, both of our lists lined up! It is good to check every once in a while and make sure you are on the same page.

And last, but not least: getting to know you questions! My favorite part because Bryan and I’s answers were hilarious, if I do say so myself.

questionsgraphic

Questions to answer about your partner:

1. My partner is most likely to laugh when _________________________.

2. What my partner enjoys doing most ________________________.

3. My partner’s two closest friends are _________________________.

4. My partner’s favorite meal is ___________________________.

5. My partner is most encouraged when ______________________.

6. If my partner could spend two weeks anywhere in the world they’d pick ______________.

7. My partner’s favorite musical group, individual artist, or composer is ________________.

8. My partner’s favorite song is ___________________________.

9. The two people in the world that my partner admires most are _____________________.

10. My partner’s favorite relative is ___________________.

11. My partner’s favorite romantic restaurant is ______________________. (Bryan said mine was CiCi’s- a man after my own heart)

12. My partner’s favorite flower is ____________________.

13. My partner feels most competent when ____________________.

14. One of my partner’s happiest childhood memories is ________________________________.

15. One of my partner’s happiest memories in our relationship is ________________________.

16. My partner would like me to pray most for __________________________.

Questions to ask your partner:

1. What was I wearing when we first met?

2. Where was I born?

3. What stresses am I facing right now?

4. When is my birthday? (Shockingly, Bryan is still working on this one.)

5. What is one of my greatest fears?

6. What is my favorite way to spend the evening?

7. What kind of present would I like best?

8. What is my favorite color?

9. Who is my greatest source of support (other than you)?

10. What do I most like to do with time off?

11. Do I have a secret ambition? What is it?

12. What are some important events coming up in my life? How do I feel about them?

13. What are some of my favorite ways to work out?

14. What is one of my favorite magazines?

15. What would I consider my ideal job?

16. What is my favorite holiday?

17. What kind of books do I most like to read?

18. What was my most embarrassing moment?

19. What foods do I hate?

20. What is my favorite animal?

So, that’s a pretty good list of questions – I would encourage spending time with your significant other this weekend and talking about some or all of the things on the list! It will be a fun way to remember why you like each other :)

Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. 450 days until I am a Mrs.!

*These lists were adapted from information we received at the Growing Healthy Relationships Seminar. Information provided by Jay and Barb Barnes from Bethel University and the Center for Relationship Enrichment.

St. Valentine’s Day

Happy February everyone! February and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate it because usually it means cold and dreary weather (though you never know in Texas). I love it because I love any holiday and February contains a particularly lovable holiday- Valentine’s day! Now I know you might think that I love Valentine’s day because I have a Valentine- but I have ALWAYS loved celebrating love in general. Everyone has someone to love!

B and I decided to be low key this year- and boy was he shocked when I told him that’s what I wanted! But since I’m in Fort Worth and he’s in Dallas, it just didn’t make sense to go nuts! We are celebrating on Friday night instead, with a nice home-cooked meal :)

However, I did want to do something special for B without breaking the bank! So I decided to show him a little love every day in February leading up to Valentine’s day. I found 14 awesome verses about love, one for each day. Some I already knew and some I googled (no shame). My favorite is probably Proverbs 15:17 because I think it is hilariously goofy and I have no idea why! Anywho, the verses are listed below:

” I have found the one who my soul loves.” -Song of Solomon 3:4

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” -Colossians 3:14

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth.” -1 John 3:18

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” -Romans 5:5

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

“A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.” -Proverbs 15:17

“Love prospers when fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” -Proverbs 17:9

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -1 John 4:8

“We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.'” -Genesis 2:18

“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” -Ephesians 5:22

“She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.” -Proverbs 31:25

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.” -Song of Solomon 1:2

craft supplies

After gathering my trusty craft supplies, I got to work! I used each verse as a guide for my love letter for the day. The only thing I bought was a set of 50 craft paper envelopes from Hobby Lobby for $6.99. I labeled each envelop Day 1-14 so that he would be able to know when to open them! Luckily I saw him on the 1st of February, and just left the rest of the letters with him.

envelopes

I used “Handy George” font to model how to write each day. I LOVE dafont.com – I am not a huge fan of my handwriting, but I think there is something special about hand-lettering, so I have become a pro at copying fonts!

Here are a few of my final products:

cards

__________

Like I mentioned earlier, we are going to celebrate by making dinner together on Friday night after Valentine’s Day, so I scoured pinterest for some yummy love themed recipes, and here is what I found:

Recipe here

Recipe here

who doesn't love churros?! recipe here

who doesn’t love churros?! recipe here

how about heart shaped ravioli for dinner? recipe here

how about heart shaped ravioli for dinner? recipe here

Not much of a chef?! That’s okay too! Add a cute label to y’alls favorite food:

from the circuit project center

from the circuit project center

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s day :)

Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. Scroll down to the bottom and be sure to “Follow Me!”

P.P.S. Only 465 more days until I’m a Mrs.!

***UPDATE***

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day! Don’t forget to do something special for someone! My Valentine sent these over to Fort Worth today and I had to call the TCU post office so they would let me come get them after closing- but thank goodness I did. Aren’t they gorgeous?! What a sweetie :)

flowers

A quick request!

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears (or eyes because you are probably reading this…) I need YOUR help! Yes, you. You aren’t the exception- I need you! Bryan and I have entered the Wedding Paper Divas “Picture Your Paradise” Contest on Facebook and we need your vote!

France

Do you ever think, “OMG, Rachel and Bryan are soooo cute!”? If you do, first of all, God bless you. Get to know us more and see if you still think that! Second of all, go vote for us.

It’s so easy! Just click here, like Wedding Paper Divas on Facebook, approve the app (I promise it won’t spam you!), then search for “Rachel”, look for my picture (same as above) and VOTE!

If that seems to complicated: try visiting my facebook page, click on the link that I posted, like Wedding Paper Divas, approve the app, and VOTE!

You can vote once per day until February 18th!

But Rachel, what do you win? Well, that is a great question! The grand prize winner gets a 4 day, 3 night stay at any Sandals resort, BUT what I’m most excited about is the $500 Wedding Paper Divas gift certificate! If you haven’t already checked out their selection of invitations, save the dates, and much more- go now! They are incredible!

We need to be in the top 20 couples with the most votes (that’s over 700 votes!) and it would be such a blessing to win, but like I said- we need your help!

Thanks in advanced friends!

Rachel

P.S. Only 469 more days until I’m a Mrs.!

P.P.S. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and enter your e-mail under the “Follow Me!” tab, in order to get updates on the latest posts!

The happiest place on Earth

No, not Disneyworld (and for those of you who know me, this is a bold statement)! It’s the place that Bryan and I will tie the knot!!! Henceforth to be known as Howell Family Farms. It is literally the most perfect place on the entire face of the planet. And I’m not biased at all… It is my happy place.

When I first started looking at venues, pretty much the day after we got engaged, I found tons of pretty spaces! You see, I’ve always pictured myself getting married outside on a beautiful summer day (I’m jinxing myself). When B and I talked about getting married, way back in the beginning of our relationship, he felt the same! Mother dearest had a conniption fit when I told her  was very adamant that I reconsider because weather in Texas is so very unpredictable. After much googling, we found Howell Family Farms. Mom, Debi, and I went to visit at the end of the summer and I instantly fell head-over-heels in love! The property is HUGE and there is plenty of outdoor and indoor space- that definitely sold Mom.

Without further ado… Howell Family Farms, everybody!

most importantly, the barn

most importantly, the barn

and inside the barn. those chandeliers. I die.

and inside the barn. those chandeliers. I die.

the ceremony space

the ceremony space

the beautiful cottage, for the cocktail hour

the beautiful cottage, for the cocktail hour

and the baseball field! can you say "lawn games"?!

and the baseball field! can you say “lawn games”?!

like I said, it's my happy place.

like I said, it’s my happy place.

Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. only 475 days until I’m a Mrs!